In years past, MTV and Spring Breakers very much knew about Panama City Beach, Fla.
By the 2000s however, the wild events faded in a region many refer to as “The Forgotten Coast.” Then, on Oct. 10, 2018, life changed for all across Bay County as Hurricane Michael devastated the area. The damage was horrific… but the Federal response and recovery efforts were lacking.
Many media outlets, including Gray Television’s NBC and CBS affiliates — WJHG-7 and WECP-LP 18 — were greatly impacted by the storm. Six months later, Federal aid had yet to arrive. The station’s News Director, WJHG veteran Donna Bell, sprang to action along with her team. The result: aid arrived, and the stations’ efforts on Saturday netted the Gray TV pair a Service to Community Award from the NAB Leadership Foundation.
In this exclusive audio interview with RBR+TVBR Editor-in-Chief Adam R Jacobson, Bell shares the experience of living through a hurricane, and the recovery efforts her stations helped bring forth on the Florida Panhandle.